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It makes me a little sad that manufacturers are releasing the next generation of "touring" bikes and they all seem to be chain final drives. I feel like that's great if by "touring" you only plan on doing <500 mile trips. I know the pricing is a tier down, but chain maintenance on a touring bike seems a bit like dragging an anchor compared to the past/current gen tourers with shaft drives such as the ST, FJR, Concours, R 1250, K 1600, Goldwing, etc. I hope this isn't going to be the new standard.

I know I shared this opinion two pages back. I like the look of the bike, I just can't get past the chain. :confused:
I view chain drives the same way you do.....I don't want one on ANY bike I buy. I hear all this talk about "chains aren't the same as they used to be" and no offense to those that say that, but there still is a maintenance job that has to be done to lube them around 500 miles. Not to mention the cost of the chain and the sprockets that have to be replaced too. And there is no reason to have to do that on a sport tourer. There is never any talk about the lightweight alternative to the chain: BELT DRIVE! Belt can be adjusted at tire changes. So the choice isn't CHAIN or SHAFT only, the third choice is BELT. And it doesn't add weight. What's not to like.

I was so excited when I saw the announcement for the N1100 from Honda. Then I saw the video and noticed the chain drive, and all of a sudden the excitement rushed out of my body! The ADV bike people claim a chain drive is needed for fixing in the brushland if it breaks. OK, that's fair. But on a TOURER you're not in the BRUSH, so what's your excuse now? Besides, if you have a cover over the belt you aren't going to get a rock that breaks your belt. So that excuse goes by the wayside too.

Finally, because of the lubing, cost of the lube, cost of the chain, costs of the sprockets, the MANUFACTURER may be saving initial money to keep the Purchase price down, but YOU have to pay the money for all the resulting ownership costs of a CHAIN DRIVE. I'd rather just pay for a Belt drive or Shaft drive upfront at Purchase time and not have any maintenance to do every 500 miles.
***REAL REASON: I'm 76 and don't need to be down on my knees crawling around a bike spraying lube on a chain. It's hard enough to trim my toenails. LOL!!
 

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The first set of chain and sprockets on my CB 1100 went 36,909 miles before needing replacement. They cost $400 to replace because I had a shop do the job using factory replacement parts. Probably could have gotten by for $200 doing the job myself with aftermarket parts, but at 71 I'm also too old to be crawling around on the garage floor (yet I do it to change the oil/filters). It's now at 63,000 miles and the only adjustments have been at tire changes. I've ridden it on many out of state trips incl Pennsylvania, New York, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina. I've never had to adjust or lube it while on a trip. As a matter of fact the only time it gets an adjustment is when it gets a new rear tire, and the adjustment comes automatically with the tire change. Buying 2 sets of chain and sprockets in 100,000 miles isn't so bad.

I've only got about 9,000 miles on my NC 750X, incl 1 trip. The chain has been adjusted once initially at 851 miles and then automatically when it got a new rear tire at 7,130 miles. I rub the chain every 3 or 4 thousand miles with a rag soaked in 80 wt gear oil. That's it for chain maintenance on the NC so far.

A buddy and I rode from Ohio to the California coast and back a few years ago. 5500 miles in 11 days. I was on my ST 1300. He was on a Suzuki DL1000 chain drive. His bike didn't require a chain adjustment the whole trip. I think he lubed it twice after riding in torrential rain in Wyoming and Colorado. Changed my perception about chains.

Would I rather have a shaft. Yes. But my current bikes didn't come with shafts, and I've found living with these new O ring chains isn't so hard. Certainly not like the 60's and 70's.

Would not having a shaft stop me from buying a touring bike with a chain. Nope. Not if there was enough other stuff I liked about the bike.
 

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but there still is a maintenance job that has to be done to lube them around 500 miles.
Completely un neccessary on a modern o-ring chain. I wipe the dirt off mine every few months, but have never oiled the chain on my FZ1. Previous owner followed the same process and got 30K per chain/sprocket set.
 

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Chains, get over it.... lighter bikes don't come with shafts. More horses transferred to the rear wheel. Belts in general used on lower powered bikes, belts can't handle too much power, thus few (good) bikes with belts.
Chain maintenance (a quick spray at your hotel) takes all of 5 minutes, done..
 

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Belts in general used on lower powered bikes, belts can't handle too much power, thus few (good) bikes with belts.
I am hearing a potential slam against Harleys. :eek:
 

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I am hearing a potential slam against Harleys. :eek:
Pretty well known that Harleys don't have much power. It took until last year for them to come up with something that had 150 HP - and if you notice, it has a chain. When they stuck the 1250S into a sportster this year, they detuned it to 121 - that one has a belt.
 

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I just bought a 2021 Tiger 900 GT (not the GT Pro). I've had it about two weeks and love it. Going to put the FJR up for sale as soon as I get it cleaned up and photographed.

If you are looking for something more like the FJR, but lighter, you might look at the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT that is coming out in the Spring. All the reviews I have read are very positive. It weighs a hair over 500 pounds.
 
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I view chain drives the same way you do.....I don't want one on ANY bike I buy. I hear all this talk about "chains aren't the same as they used to be" and no offense to those that say that, but there still is a maintenance job that has to be done to lube them around 500 miles. Not to mention the cost of the chain and the sprockets that have to be replaced too. And there is no reason to have to do that on a sport tourer. There is never any talk about the lightweight alternative to the chain: BELT DRIVE! Belt can be adjusted at tire changes. So the choice isn't CHAIN or SHAFT only, the third choice is BELT. And it doesn't add weight. What's not to like.

I was so excited when I saw the announcement for the N1100 from Honda. Then I saw the video and noticed the chain drive, and all of a sudden the excitement rushed out of my body! The ADV bike people claim a chain drive is needed for fixing in the brushland if it breaks. OK, that's fair. But on a TOURER you're not in the BRUSH, so what's your excuse now? Besides, if you have a cover over the belt you aren't going to get a rock that breaks your belt. So that excuse goes by the wayside too.

Finally, because of the lubing, cost of the lube, cost of the chain, costs of the sprockets, the MANUFACTURER may be saving initial money to keep the Purchase price down, but YOU have to pay the money for all the resulting ownership costs of a CHAIN DRIVE. I'd rather just pay for a Belt drive or Shaft drive upfront at Purchase time and not have any maintenance to do every 500 miles.
***REAL REASON: I'm 76 and don't need to be down on my knees crawling around a bike spraying lube on a chain. It's hard enough to trim my toenails. LOL!!
Im going to start by saying that I have a strong preference for shaft drive on my long distance bikes as well. But….

I have two other bikes, both chain drives. In the past 15 years I’ve had quite a few chain drive bikes and all of them have had at least as much horsepower as the FJR, and a few of them a lot more! The truth is that the only way they would require much maintenance is if you over tighten them. The only time mine usually get adjusted is when I have to because I’m putting on a new tire. Yes, that includes the two Supersports - both with 170 horsepower to the ground! And I’m not a slave to lubing them. I seldom lube them more than once every 1,000 miles.

Im not trying to change your mind on wanting a shaft drive. I’m just clarifying for the record that chain drives are nowhere near what they were when most of us on this forum started riding. I truthfully would consider a chain drive if the a sport touring bike with a chain drive comes out that really knocks my socks off.

Harley has been mentioned several times on this thread. They are introducing a new bike 1/26. I think there is a decent chance it could be a sport touring bike based upon the new Pan America. Who here would be interested? It has one thing that really makes it stand out to me. It never needs a valve check! Hydraulic lifters! And the Pan America is getting great reviews.
 
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I just bought a 2021 Tiger 900 GT (not the GT Pro). I've had it about two weeks and love it. Going to put the FJR up for sale as soon as I get it cleaned up and photographed.

If you are looking for something more like the FJR, but lighter, you might look at the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT that is coming out in the Spring. All the reviews I have read are very positive. It weighs a hair over 500 pounds.
I have a Ninja 1000 which is almost a twin from another mother to the Suzuki. They have two significant shortfalls to the FJR and other serious sport tourers. They are short on luggage space including room for strapping down addional bags (even one-up) , and wind protection.

My friend and I recently took a three day, two night trip both of us on our Ninja 1000s (like me, he also has an FJR). He has the factory hard bags on his Ninja, and I have aftermarket soft saddle bags. We both have tail bags also. Even for two nights we struggled for luggage space because we saw temperature extremes from the low 40s up to 90 every day. We needed both mesh and winter gear.
 

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As long as there is a givi rack available, luggage size is pretty unlimited for any bike.
 

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I have a Ninja 1000 which is almost a twin from another mother to the Suzuki. They have two significant shortfalls to the FJR and other serious sport tourers. They are short on luggage space including room for strapping down addional bags (even one-up) , and wind protection.

My friend and I recently took a three day, two night trip both of us on our Ninja 1000s (like me, he also has an FJR). He has the factory hard bags on his Ninja, and I have aftermarket soft saddle bags. We both have tail bags also. Even for two nights we struggled for luggage space because we saw temperature extremes from the low 40s up to 90 every day. We needed both mesh and winter gear.
The new GT comes with hard saddlebags, just like the FJR.
 

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As long as there is a givi rack available, luggage size is pretty unlimited for any bike.
Yeah, but it’s going to make your ass look big :)
 

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The new GT comes with hard saddlebags, just like the FJR.
Yes, as does the Ninja 1000 as an option. I have not seen yet how big they are on the Suzuki. The Ninja bags are quite a bit less useful than the FJR. I’m going based on what my friend who has both has told me.
 

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My friend and I recently took a three day, two night trip both of us on our Ninja 1000s (like me, he also has an FJR). He has the factory hard bags on his Ninja, and I have aftermarket soft saddle bags. We both have tail bags also. Even for two nights we struggled for luggage space because we saw temperature extremes from the low 40s up to 90 every day. We needed both mesh and winter gear.
When my buddy and I rode to California we saw 105 degrees just southeast of San Fran and 24 hours later we saw 32 degrees on Pikes Peak in Colorado. We were hot in Cali and cold in Colo, lol, but neither lasted very long as we were long gone in Kansas the following day
 

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Really? What is it about the styling of the Norden that bothers you so much? It’s sort of retro rally styling and you’re a retro guy. Doesn’t seem anyone is coming out with anything beautiful these days. The new Suzuki sport tourer has a front that’s a mile long, the new Honda is a combination of odd and bland at least from the pictures, Yamaha’s MT range is butt ugly so why the harshness toward the Norton? Where’s the love?
Rider magazine reviewed the new Norden in this month's issue although I've yet to read it. Visordown has provided a comparo video between it and the KTM 890.

 

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Discussion Starter · #877 ·
Really good review. First thing I noticed was the rider on the Norden wasn’t that smooth on the right turn as if the bike turned in slower than he expected. First one got to the local dealer Rob’s Performance today, hope I get to see it in person after work tomorrow
 

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I always wanted to get back in the dirt, a DR650 is what my brain is saying but my body says TW200.
What’s strange is now that I’m retired it seems I have less time but if I was going to a lighter street bike I usually think about an old Airhead RT.
 
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